EU Prosecco rules start to pay off

22 February, 2010

The EU’s new protection of  the  name and image of Prosecco is starting to pay off as ‘Rosecco’ bottles were seized.

The Consorzio per la Tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore was pleased to learn that 14,400 bottles of ‘Rosecco’, destined for Marks & Spencer in the UK were seized by the Italian government.

Giancarlo Vettorello, director of the Consorzio said: “The Consorzio was very satisfied with the job that the ICQRF di Conegliano (Italian agricultural products and repression of fraud) was able to do in stopping this illegal brand from leaving Italy. Before the new EU law came into effect, the control of products that are not only damaging to the image of Italian products, but also misleading for the consumer was very difficult.  The seizure of the ‘Rosecco’ brand, owned by Marks and Spencer, is the first high profile example of the full implications of the new regulations and we hope that this is the beginning of the full irradication of imitation Prosecco products from the UK market.”

The new EU legislation, which came into force on 1August 2009, states clearly that Prosecco is now exclusively the name of a DOC and DOCG wine and no longer the name of a grape variety.

Vettorello added: “The Consorzio is also aware of another illegal brand currently available in the UK, Prosecco Capriolo. Under the new regulations Prosecco Capriolo, produced in Germany and available in Tesco, is no longer able to use the name Prosecco due to its geographical location and its lack of alcohol.

“We hope that the case of ‘Rosecco’ will enlighten UK retailers to the full and wide reaching implications of the new EU law.”

Producers making ‘Prosecco’ from outside the DOCG and DOC region will have to use the new grape name Glera (an ancestor of the Prosecco grape) on their labels instead of Prosecco.